In the forth part of this series of articles “Help for wild animals in South Africa” I write about Tenikwa. The three previous articles were about Monkeyland, Birds of Eden and Jukani which belong to the South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance (SAASA). Similar to these three institutions, Tenikwa cares for wild animals in need and is a sanctuary for injured animals around Plettenberg Bay.
Tenikwa in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
There are two sections in Tenikwa. One is the Tenikwa Awareness Centre and the other the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. If you visit the Awareness Centre you help finance the rehabiliation program of the sanctuary. Animals in the Awareness Centre were mostly born in captivity and cannot be released back into the wild. Some animals came originially to the rehabilitation centre, but as they could not be released again, Tenikwa transferred them to the Awareness Centre.
Staff from the sanctuary cares for animals in the Wildlife Rehabiliation Centre in order to release them into the wild again. However, as these animals need to remain as wild as possible, it is not allow to meet these animals. The sanctuary cares for about 230 to 300 animals in their Wildlife Rehabiliation Centre every year.
It is important to mention that Tenikwa does not follow any active breeding program. Tenikwa’s most important aims are to educate people about threats to wild animals and fundraising for their rehabiliation program. Although Tenikwa appears almost like a profit-seeking institution at the first sight because of their Photographic Tour or the Cheetah Walk Combo, there is a rehabilitation program behind Tenikwa which visitors cannot see. As I was at the ORCA Foundation for three months, I could see a little bit more from Tenikwa’s work. For example one day we met a veterinary who gave us some more insights about her work at the rehabiliation program. The other day we helped cleaning the penguin pool. However, we were not allowed to see the animals at the Wildlife Rehabiliation Centre, neither. These animals need to be as wild as possible.
When I visited Tenikwa I participated on a photographic tour where it was possible as well to join at the daily morning walk with cheetahs. I participated on this tour as I thought a walk is important for the cheetahs. However, it is also possible to touch the animals and take a selfie. Although there is a rehabiliation program behind Tenikwa, I’m with concerns about this wildlife interaction. On this blog you will never see a selfie with a wild animal in captivity. Unfortunately at Tenikwa this is possible. I do not have concerns about supporting the rehabiliation program with my entrance fee. However, for the future I wish that Tenikwa stops this kind of human-wildlife-interaction.